Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Underwater Times names its Underwater Stories of the Year. There's the Bethany Hamilton shark attack and the whale hunting stories, but you know what is No. 3? Colossal Squid Found! Woohoo, go giant squid! Also, the Chilean sea blob makes No. 4.

Citizens' Association to Blow Up the Moon: "We are a group of citizens from all walks of life who share a common realization and thus a common goal: the Moon is our enemy and must be destroyed."

Monday, December 22, 2003

Have I mentioned Henshin!Online is a great site for Godzilla news? That's why it's up their on the right. Today's news: the new Godzilla X Mechagodzilla will be released in America in the first half of 2004! This is great. I haven't even gotten GMK and Godzilla X Megaguirus, which are coming out in January. It seems like Sony is really trying to boost the Godzilla fandom in the U.S. I hope so. I would like to see these movies come out here right after they're released in Japan.
Also at Henshin Online is an interview with one of the creators of the Ultraman comic book.

Friday, December 19, 2003

DVD Review takes a look at "Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack."
"So, in a nutshell, ’Godzilla, Mothra And King Ghidorah’ is a must-see for all kaiju fans. It’s just really cool..."
And here is the page with the info about the Boston showings of "GMK." I really want to go. Any other Godzilla fans out there who would like to take a trip to Boston next week?

The Astronomy Picture of the Day (Dec. 14) is the Face on Mars. Of course, it doesn't look anything like a face in this picture. A conspiracy to hide it, I'm sure.

Bookslut links to a very interesting article, an interview with Anthony Lane, the New Yorker's film critic. Lane is asked about the writer's life, he then proceeds to go on a monologue about the kind of life he leads. It's fascinating, at least I think so.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Excellent article about Alan Moore. Although, I must say that "Swamp Thing" was not "a terrible American comic book" when it began. Len Wein did some good stuff that Moore was able to build on later. It wasn't great, but it certainly wasn't "terrible."

Doctor creates anti-bullet charm. "To confirm its efficacy, the herbalist tied the charm around his neck and insisted that Akor should fire a gun at him. The experiment proved fatal for the herbalist and his skull was shattered," said a police spokesman.

Platypuses Hunt With Electro-Sensor. With cute picture!

The headline says it all: Ugly slug lures amateur divers to their death. If you want to see what a sea cucumber looks like check Google image search.

The New Yorker's Alex Ross ponders the similarities and differences of "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Ring of the Nibelung." Also here is a Washington Post article on the influences behind "The Lord of the Rings."

This beetle is actually made of opal, at least in part.

The Eldritch Dark, which is a great Web site for reading all of Clark Ashton Smith's fantasty works, now has the correspondence of H.P. Lovecraft and Smith up. Lovecraft is famed for his letter writing. Besides Smith, he wrote to Robert E. Howard, Robert Bloch, Joseph Payne Brennan and many more. (Link found via Return of the Reluctant.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Well, it appears there is a new weirdwriter out there. He's 19 and lives in New York. Impostor! Nah, I'm just kidding. Welcome. (And yes, I found this because I searched for my own name on Google. I'm a narcissist, sue me.)
And while I'm at it, you can find another Weirdwriter here.

It seems the Wright Brothers had a lot of competition. This being the 100th anniversary of the Kitty Hawk flight, everybody is writing stories like these. Locally, we have Gustave Whitehead, who never claimed a first flight, but many people say he flew first on a hill in Fairfield. Texas claims a first flight in this story. And Brazil makes their claim here. It seems there was a veritable fleet of airplanes in the air as the Wright Brothers took off.

Well, there's stuff on Edward Kelley here, here, and here. I haven't had a chance to read any of them though.

There's a new article about the Voynich Manuscript. The Voynich Manuscript is an illuminated manuscript housed at Yale's Beinecke Rare Book Library. The manuscript is written an apparently untranslatable language and is full of bizarre pictures. You can find some detailed stuff about the Voynich Manuscript here, here and photos here. The second link is probably the best introduction.
So in the new story, a researcher says he can show that the Voynich Manuscript is a hoax perpetrated by Edward Kelley ("a forger, mystic, alchemist, mercenary and wife-swapper") who originally sold the book. I think I need to find out more about Edward Kelley.

Museum workers are spooked out by Egyptian funerary figures that move around at night. The figures, or shabtis, are supposed to be servants of the dead.
"'They were neatly packed in a case when we brought them up. When we came to work the day after, they were lying all over the place, except for two - two false shabtis,' [Museum guard Richard] Saure said."

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Ghosts blamed for runaway train. The lead says "superstitious Indonesians" blamed ghosts. Well, where is the real explanation then? Hmm? (Well, it does say "Indonesia's railways are often plagued with rolling stock and maintenance problems," but let's not go pointing fingers yet.

A booming business: "They run the nation's only sea slug farm, filling a growing global demand for squishy, slimy, slithering purplish-brown blobs."
With picture!

The World Wide Web takes a step towards fighting censorship and promoting the "marketplace of ideas" worldwide: "Exiled Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen whose latest work has sparked off a controversy prompting the West Bengal government to proscribe it, has now decided to post its entire manuscript on the net. "

Monday, December 15, 2003

The first review of the latest Godzilla film is up at Monster Zero. I wish these films were released more quickly and more reliably in America (and in theaters, wouldn't that be great?) At least "GMK: All out attack" and "Godzilla X Megaguirus" will be released on DVD here in January. Also, "GMK" is going to be playing in a theater near Boston on Christmas week. I'm going to see if I can make it. I would love to see that on the big screen.

Friday, December 12, 2003

SciFi Audio has recordings of China Mieville reading from his novel, "Scar," as well as an interview with him. I think I've mentioned it previously, but among fantasy writers, I really think Mieville is one of the best, if not the best. He's also high on my list of writers in general.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

I just picked up "The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian" a book collecting many of Robert E. Howard's original Conan stories in their original glory. This got me thinking of Conan, so I looked up the Official Website, which has all kinds of interesting Conan news. Apparently, McFarlane Toys will take on Conan next year. Also, there is a new Conan comic book coming out, written by Kurt Busiek. Dark Horse is collecting the classic Barry Windsor-Smith Conan comics of the '70s. And finally, a Conan video game is in production. In fact, there is a trailer for it here. Looks like it might be good.

Ever wonder what it's like to live in a snowglobe? This link might give you an idea. (Thanks to Charles for the link.)

A pilot is stranded in Antartica on McMurdo Base because he ran out of fuel. The Antarticans won't give him any fuel, and I don't blame them. According to the story:

Antarctica New Zealand spokeswoman Shelly Peebles said Mr Johanson had taken an irresponsible approach. No one knew he was coming and he had done nothing about emergency or refuelling plans.
"He abdicated complete personal responsibility for any kind of contingency plan or consideration of how he was going to get back with limited fuel," she said.

This guy sounds like one of those balloon guys trying to set travel records. You know, the guys who cost us money because the Coast Guard has to pick them up and transport them home when they inevitably fail. I don't enjoy paying for rich men's hobbies.
By the way, if you're ever looking for a good site about life on Antartica, check out Big Dead Place. It's written by people living on Antartica. Lots of good stuff there.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

A scientist suggests that the red skies of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" might have been influenced by Krakatoa, which caused red skies throughout the world. Personally, I think it was a crossover with "Crisis on Infinite Earths." /obscure joke

Here's a "how to" on keeping a dream journal. There are also a bunch of other stories about dreams and nightmares if you click the "index" link. I kept a dream journal for a while. I just left a notebook beside my bed and when I woke - before I was really awake and aware - I'd scribble down whatever I had just dreamed. You remember your dreams much better that way and it's really weird to look back on some of those dreams.

Weird world report: The globe is getting dangerously warmer, so watch out for falling ice balls.

Check out the world's fastest growing snack foods cult! Behold the fork of transcendence, beware the stark spoon of evil.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

I just bought this The Outer Limits - The Original Series, Season 1 DVD set used at a local record store for $40. How cool is that? And, just for fun, here's a Salon Masterpiece article on the series. It looks like you won't have to watch an ad to read it either!

Have you been following the German cannibal story? It's too bizarre for words and just keeps getting weirder. Now, the killer says he was "a bit like a werewolf" during full moons. Also, he taped the whole dinner. Yipe.
If you want to know more (and who doesn't really), just take a look at Google news, there are about a hundred stories just today on the case. I haven't even gotten into to the whole cannibal email list thing.

Stylist's hair bursts into flames, showing that big hair can be dangerous to more than just your looks.

Five-legged dog ends up with three after operation, with sad, hideous picture.

Researchers are looking at a submerged city off the coast of India as the birthplace of modern civilization. However, the man attached to this research is named Graham Hancock. I'm curious if this is the same Graham Hancock who wrote several ridiculous books about the grail and the lost ark of the covenant.

Thank goodness! Seattle has made it once again safe for Elvis impersonators to drive a cab. I know you were all worried. (Link via the absolutely wonderful Cylindrical Primate Storage Unit.)

JenniCam, after more than seven years of documenting Jennifer Ringley's life, will be shutting down Dec. 31. Terry Teachout has some interesting things to say about it. I think he sums it up well here: "She was present at the creation of a radically innovative form of interpersonal communication, and used it to show the world her underwear. What’s more, the world turned out to be interested in her underwear—briefly."

Issue 17 of Bookslut is up, check it out. I haven't read any of it yet, but the review of Flann O'Brien's "The Third Policeman" as well as the magazine and horror columns look to be of interest. It's always worth reading anyway.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Ricky Moody writes a rather pretentious article called 'We recognise the scepticism, the disgust, the coiffure. We recognise this because we have stood in front of mirrors and fleetingly believed in ourselves'. It's about the Talking Heads and how they created a moment of ecstasy for a geek who gets beat up in high school.

Blogger is not working right at the moment, so I'm going to write up a few links at once and blog them later.
First off is this entry by Forager 23 about why he likes country. Now, I'm not going to like modern country music, but this article does give a good perspective on it. It's down home music about living real life.
He also praises modern country for using songwriters, rather than allowing the singers to come up with their own navel-gazing songs. I always liked the idea of songwriters, tin pan alley, that kind of thing. The Associated Press did a great story a few years back about country songwriters, specifically a member of the crew hired by Reba McEntire. Every morning the guy woke up, went to his little office and tried to think up song lyrics. The article had the writer create a song about a computer crashing at work. I wish I could find the article, but a Google search turns up nothing.
Jay Lake links to this great Jack Chick parody, Who Will Be Eaten First?. A basic understanding of H.P. Lovecraft might be necessary to get the joke. "There is one thing we can hope for ... TO BE EATEN FIRST!"
Meanwhile, at Useful Noise, insurance companies are preparing for fungi and nuclear radiation and we should all be worried because of it.

Friday, December 05, 2003

According to TheSpark.com's Bastard Test!, I am 30% bastard. The worldwide average is 44%. 3% of test takers are the same amount of bastard as I am. Isn't that fascinating? (Link found via The Mad Dater.)

I had to stop reading this article at about the halfway point. It's about how parasites might make you feel better. Once I saw the picture of the hookworm and the scientist say that he had about 300 of them in his "gut," it was all over. The world still seems weird, but now slightly less wonderful.

This New Scientist article suggests that tiny black holes may be continually raining down on Earth's atmosphere. And, if proven, could also show the existence of other dimensions.
We are living in a truly weird, really wonderful world.

In case you were wondering, Colymbosathon ecplecticos means "swimmer with a large penis." Also from the same story, ' "The copulatory organ of the fossilised male is "large and stout" which indicates that "maybe size mattered" for the ancient ostracods, he added. ' Damn. Even prehistoric creatures agree.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Thank you to Cowboy X's Blog of Blogs. Cowboy X reviewed my site and said some nice things. I'm now a member of "The Herd." I'll chew my cud and ask you to check it out here.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Now, you can see the Mothra music video! Just click on the link, it's a Japanese Godzilla page. Scroll down slightly and you will see a pink button with the two Mothra girls on it. Click that link and you can watch the video!
The video is really goofy. It's the original Mothra song from the '64 movie, updated with a backbeat and synthesizers. And the best part: When an image of Mechagodzilla firing its cannons is shown, there's a drum beat that goes right along with it! Oh how I love it.

The new Battlestar Galactica gets some praise over at BoingBoing. Xeni Jardin says the first episode (shown during a launch party for the show) was "nothing short of breathtaking, and lives up to its producers' promise to turn the science fiction TV genre on its head." That's high praise. Hope it turns out that way.

If you ever thought people seeing the Virgin Mary or some other religious thing in birth marks and tree knots was a good thing, this article may make you think differently. A new baby has a birthmark that resembles the name of its uncle, a member of Hamas who may have been involved in a suicide bombing that killed 12 people, including a 10-year-old girl. The family says the birthmark is a sign from Allah praising the fight against Israel.

People in Sydney, Australia, heard a loud bang, which shook windows and woke people out of their sleep. Yet, there is no explanation for it.

While I'm at Salon, this article expresses just about exactly how I feel about Monica Lewinsky. She was a girl who made a stupid mistake and has been paying for it ever since. However, she has done nothing to help herself.

Salon has a good article on the friendship of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. It focuses on how one night's argument over Christianity changed both men's writing careers forever.

Did you know Salam Pax is still writing his blog from Baghdad? Of course you did. Did you also know his friend Raed, the one for whom the blog was named, is now also writing? It adds a whole new element. Raed isn't as good a writer as Salam, but he's funnier and a bit more pissed off. I've been enjoying his stay on the site recently. For instance, check out his entry on camels and their association with Arabs.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

There has been so little giant squid news these last few months, it makes me sad. However, this story about catfish as big as a bear does help to cheer me up a bit.

Monday, December 01, 2003

I was listening to the radio the other day and had a moment of clarity. I want you all to know that "Still of The Night" is the best Led Zeppelin song ever. That it's not written or performed by Led Zeppelin makes no difference.

Orgasm Implant Trials Stall: If this thing goes off, what will men be needed for? I mean, there's that whole baby thing, but really, so what? (Link from Jay Lake's new blog, once called Caprine Eructations, now called Cylindrical Primate Storage Unit, either way it's filled with lots of cool stuff.)